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U Of M Study Shows Detroit's Unemployment Recovery Following The COVID-19 Pandemic Is Exceeding Expectations

(CBS DETROIT) - The City of Detroit and the University of Michigan partnered to release an Economic Outlook report, which looks at employment, unemployment, and wage trends and projections in Detroit through 2026.

According to data from the study from June 2021:

  • Unemployment among Detroiters has already recovered to approximately 3% below its pre-pandemic level.
  • Detroit's unemployment rate, which spiked to more than 38% in May 2020 and averaged 22% for a year, has declined dramatically. By contrast, Detroit's unemployment rate so far this year has averaged 9.9% and registered at 8.5% in June.
  • Detroit's unemployment rate is projected to average 9.5% this year and gradually decline to 6.9% by 2026.

The study shows that Detroit is expected to have a stronger unemployment recovery than the rest of Michigan.

The opportunity for a strong recovery in Detroit is supported by several large developments in the city, including the Stellantis' Mack Avenue plant expansion, the Gordie Howe International Bridge project, and a new Amazon distribution center under construction at the former Michigan State Fairgrounds.

The 'Detroit at Work' initiative has already helped over 3,000 Detroiters land jobs with Stellantis for the company's Mack Avenue plant and other facilities.

"The Mayor has a clear strategy, which is to attract major employers that will put Detroiters to work, and this study reflects some of our initial success in those efforts," said Nicole Sherard-Freeman, Mayor Duggan's Group Executive for Jobs, the Economy, and Detroit at Work. "As the study suggests, we expect our numbers to get even stronger as Amazon and other projects come online and begin hiring more Detroiters."

The study also shows that employment in blue-color industries is expected to grow 25% higher than pre-pandemic levels by 2026.

While the study forecasts employment improvement in Detroit, it is important to note that it also details the need for the ability of Detroiters to earn a high enough wage to support their families, which is being addressed by the 'Detroit at Work' program.

"Having this annual Detroit-specific forecast is tremendously helpful in measuring the city's progress as we work to provide Detroit residents with greater economic opportunity," said City of Detroit Chief Financial Officer Jay Rising. "We appreciate our partnership with the University of Michigan, as well as the other institutions that contributed to the study.  This report clearly shows that Detroit is on the right path with the strategies we are implementing."

To view the full study, visit here.

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